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Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel
Ranked #11 of 35 Hotels in Elounda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 September 2008

we sayed at this hotel in july 2008. On the website it looked very beautiful and parts of the hotel were. However the room we were allocated was horrible. It felt like a dungeon.
Also they only had a salt water pool which did not have many people using it and the pool area lacked atmosphere.
The food at the hotel was good but the service definately was not. The service at the front desk was even worse. Potentially this hotel could be very nice but it obviously does not have good management.

Stayed: July 2008
7  Thank rilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 September 2008

We have stayed at Elounda Mare no less than 8 times in the past 12 years, and have come to know the owners, staff, and local residents personally. If you haven't been to Crete before, and even if you have, you simply cannot do better than this property. The Relais & Chateaux designation says it all, but the warmth and friendliness of the staff, the helpful attitude, and the absolute pride each employee takes in the property makes it a pleasure to stay. It has a homey feel, yet it is a first class property at the same time. That is not an easy achievement.

Of course, it is on a gorgeous inlet on beautiful Mirabello Bay, so the scenery can't possibly be better. The dramatic stonework is a testimony to the local craftsmen and the owners' commitment to an aesthetically pleasing environment. The cultivation of flowering plants is magical. The chapel -- on the grounds -- is sublime and sacred; we were married there in 2000.

Get a bungalow if you can afford one as the privacy and private pool -- with the sea at arms length -- is breathtaking. Ask the front desk to connect you with Panayoti's taxi (he lives nearby) and tell him his Boston friend referred you. He will take you to the best places and will watch over you.

There is so much to do in the eastern region of Crete, yet there is great beauty throughout the island. You'll want to rent a car. Be careful -- it is a big island. You'll want to see Chania in the west, but it is a solid 2-3 hour drive (one way). The roads are better than in the US.

We stay in 5 star resorts around the world but we count this at the very top of our list, largely because of the warmth, conscientiousness, hospitality, and discretion of the staff.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled with family
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7  Thank BostonBanker64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2008

We spent three fabulous nights at the Elounda Mare. We had a ground floor room with patio overlooking the swimming pool and then the sea. The room was comfortable and large and well layed out. Two caveats: the beds in most of Greece are not plush and are usually two twins pushed together, and the room can seem cave like when the shutters are closed for privacy.
This hotel has very few Americans and we enjoyed that. The front desk staff was amazing at securing taxis to take us into either Elounda or Agios Nikolas for dinner. The breakfast was huge, delicous and came with a gorgeous view. There is a small beach with water sports however we really enjoyed sitting cliffside. There are lounges and umbrellas spread over the property waterside on the rocks with ladders to enter the sea. It was very private and beautiful. We waterskiied with the water sports desk and rented the sailboat with captain for an excursions around Spinalonga. This was the highlight of our stay!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Andbrecal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2008

We have just returned from Elounda Mare in Greece,Crete! We had a real relaxation. This place is perfect for your body,soul and mind. The gorgeous hotel with beautiful garden,amazing seaside (perfect for being alone with your thoughts and emotions), excellent food and its unique hospitality, that impressed me so much! It seemed that it's your second home,where all that paradise was created just only for you!
Only the last days I felt myself little bit boring, because this hotel is very very calm, for real relaxation and rest, so one week is more than enough.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank ravdiamond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2008

We booked this hotel via a luxury auction Web site and were delighted to get a 5-night package, including breakfast, plus dinner for 2 one evening for a very reasonable price.

Had we paid normal rates, we would have been disappointed in the value for money, as the hotel is really lovely, but had inconsistencies in its service. We admittedly are quite critical travellers, so I am sure most guests of this hotel would be happy in their stay. However, as we stayed during the shoulder months, and the hotel was practically empty, we did sense that perhaps standards for such a 5-star hotel weren't quite there.

We arrived late at night and were shown to Bungalow 40. The seawater pool was being filled as we arrived and the man helping us with our luggage handed us a welcome letter that was for a completely different couple and room. Given that we were in shoulder season and it was clear that there were lots of unused rooms and bungalows, it would have been nice to have been offered the option of an upgrade.

Bungalow 40 was OK, but I'd advise avoiding it, as it is located next to the property's church and overlooks a private beach and pavement, which is great, but means that there is a constant flow of pedestrian traffic to the side and below you -- so you actually cannot enjoy your "private pool" in private.

The bungalow room was a bit smaller than we had expected, but it was clean and tastefully decorated in Greek furnishings with white walls. The bathroom was very nice, with a whirlpool tub and stand-alone shower.

Outside our private garden wasn't so nice. There was a large olive tree blocking out most of the sun, so where there should have been plants or grass, we had a big patch of dirt. Also, the tree blocked most of the sun, so lounging was a bit chilly. The private pool was freezing cold. The hotel does say that they only heat the pools during shoulder months, but I literally couldn't swim in it as I lost my breath each time I attempted to get in. Also, the night we arrived, the noise from it being filled up was so loud it kept both of us awake. And, our pool light didn't work until the day before we left (despite us asking for it to be fixed a couple of times) -- had we wanted to swim at night, it wouldn't have been possible. For families with young children, I was also surprised that the pools had very deep ends (they're only small!).

The Elounda Mare is actually part of 3 hotel properties sitting next to each other, and guests of any of the hotels are welcome to use the pools, restaurants and bars at any of the hotels. However, there wasn't much information about the hotel or its sister properties in our room -- or a price list or information about the amazing Six Senses Spa. There wasn't even information about our mini bar and prices!

Breakfast each day was very nice and easily filled us up so we didn't need lunch, but overall the service at the hotel was a bit care-free -- we usually had to grab someone to ask for coffee after sitting at our table for 10-15 minutes, and the front-desk staff always seemed mildly annoyed.

The best part of the hotel (or rather the hotel complex) was the Six Senses Spa -- absolutely amazing in every way. If you stay at the Elounda Mare, you have to spend a day at the spa.

The Elounda Mare is located fairly close to Elounda town, and it was pretty easy to walk there (although I wouldn't want to do it in the heat of mid-day in mid-summer). We'd highly recommend an art gallery called Circada, as well as a restaurant in Elounda called Mam's -- both had wonderful, friendly people and Mam's was amazing food for great prices (try the mixed grill!).

So, overall, a lovely place. Would we stay there again? Probably not, even if we got a great package deal. It was nice -- but kind of annoying as it just didn't feel totally 5-star. For the price we paid, perhaps OK -- but I'd be super upset if I had paid 5-star prices.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Pommefranate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2008

This was our third visit to our favourite hotel and although the Elounda Mare maintains that ranking there has been a distinct change to character of the hotel. Three years ago the hotel was almost exclusively populated by adults but that is no longer the case. Although our stay was, again, over the first two weeks in June it seems that many foreign visitors from the newly-affluent Eastern European countries do not mind taking their children out of school during the term.

This resulted in a far more crowded and less quiet atmosphere, particularly at breakfast when it occassionally resembled an overcrowded nursery. This, in no way, reflects on the waiting staff who coped with their usual friendly efficiency. In fact, the staff are one of the highlights of this hotel - without exception they are first class. In particular the reception staff and chambermaids are of the highest standard.

Eating out in Elounda is pleasent enough but the lack of variety offered by the many almost identical traditional Greek restaurants can pale after two weeks. Also it is no longer cheap to eat out in Elounda. The Ferryman remains the best for fresh fish but for an excellent alternative try The Tryst on the main road, it is virtually the nearest restaurant to the Elounda Mare. Run by a charming couple, every course over the four times we ate there was beautifully cooked and very reasonably priced. Be warned though, the portions are on the large side!

After a wonderful holiday at the Elounda Mare brace yourself for Heraklion Airport, especially if you are flying on one of Monach/Olympic giant Airbuses. After a wait of an hour for our cases on arrival (and we were one of the luckier ones) it took us over 1 Hour 40 minutes to check in, about half of the time spent in a long disorganised queue, in 30 degree heat outside the check-in building.

Stayed: June 2008
1  Thank FiveStarSoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2008

The Elounda Mare is a bit of a paradox. It is not especially luxurious, glamorous, flashy or stylish. You might even say it's not really five star, if what you are after is American-style coached fawning service a la Ritz Carlton.

But what this place does, it does brilliantly, making it, in our opinion, perhaps the very best relaxing beach hotel we have ever stayed in.

The rooms are super-comfortable, with everything you need, beautifully maintained, and spacious. We had a one bed bungalow with private pool, about 25 yards from the beach, which was well worth it.

The grounds are lovely - not over tended but like a relaxing Mediterranean garden, and are so enormous that even when the hotel was almost full the place seemed empty. The views everwhere are wonderful, with benches placed in shady spots overlooking the rocks and sea. We went to the small but gorgeous beach every day, and had our pick of loungers. The sea is magnificent - clear opal and aquamarine, enough breeze and waves to make it interesting, but very swimmable in May.

Great buffet breakfast, with hot food to order instead of in steaming sweaty bains marie. Lunch fantastic at the Yacht Club right on the water (silly prices though) .Dinner served elegantly with waiters in white tuxes, and of a most enjoyable, rather than a gourmet standard - but who needs that on hol? What I want is to relax and enjoy myself, in pleasant surroundings, with happy and helpful staff. I'm not that interested in scoring food out of ten and moaning about how long it takes for the waiter to offer me a drink on my lounger.

Be warned - it's very quiet here - no nightly entertainment or music by the pool. But we had a lot of fun frolicking in our pool and the sea, ploughing through the holiday reading, and going into Elounda (nice town - eat at Marilena and Ferryman) in the evening.

Staff are the perfect balance - helpful and friendly and genuinely interested, without being overbearing.

Only minor quibble is the food and drinks prices which I think must push lunch and dinner trade into town.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank DenbyBlade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel

Address: Dimokratias 10, Elounda, Crete 720 53, Greece
Phone Number:
Region: Greece > Crete > Lasithi Prefecture > Elounda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Elounda
#5 Business Hotel in Elounda
#7 Spa Hotel in Elounda
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Elounda
#8 Luxury Hotel in Elounda
#13 Romantic Hotel in Elounda
Price Range: £178 - £555 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Famed for its gracious and attentive service, this hotel is the embodiment of all-time-classic style and cultured luxury, where antique art and traditional architectural themes adorn all of its private-pool bungalows - each with its own terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea. Three fine dining venues reflect the Relais & Chateaux tradition of excellence, their culinary delights ranging from enticing lunchtime snacks to five-course dinners, with flambe and fish specialties. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elounda Mare Hotel And Bungalows
Elounda Mare Relais & Chateaux Hotel Crete

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